Effects of PM2.5 exposure on autophagy and apoptosis in A549 cells

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Journal Article
The Journal of Practical Medicine, 2017, 33 (16), pp. 2616 - 2620 (5)
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Objective: To investigate the effect of PM2.5 (airborne particulate matter with a mean diameter of less than 2.5μm) exposure on autophagy and explore the links between autophagy and apoptosis in human lung cancer cells(A549). Methods A549 cells were exposed to 100 μg/mL PM2.5 with or without 3⁃MA(autophagy inhibitor)for various periods of 0, 2, 4, 12 or 24 hrs. Autophagy in A549 cells was assessed by determining the level of LC3(a known autophagy marker)using confocal microscopy. The level of microtubule ⁃associated protein 1 light chain 3(LC3)II conversion and Bax(a pro ⁃ apoptotic protein)was detected by western blotting. Results: The expression of LC3 and the ratio of LC3⁃II/LC3⁃I in A549 cells was significantly increased and Bax was significantly decreased following exposure to PM2.5 100 μg/mL for 24 h in a time⁃dependent manner(P < 0.05). After treated with 100 μg/mL PM2.5,the formation of LC3 in A549 cells as evidenced by the intensity of intracellular fluorescence was significantly increased,and autophageosomes were observed around nucleus in A549 cells. Furthermore blockage of autophagy by 3⁃MA led to a significant increase in the pro ⁃ apoptotic protein Bax. Conclusion: PM2.5 exposure induces autophagy which may protect against apoptosis induced by PM2.5 in A549 cells.
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